Does Christianity bear the kind of fruit one might expect if it were true? Does naturalism or Christian theism better predict the moral fruits and lack thereof that we actually observe? Naturalists would expect Christianity to produce a mixed bag, like any other man-made institution. Christianity leads one to form loftier expectations.
There’s much more to say about this argument than we cover today, but we manage to lay out the essential core of the argument: a Theological Premise, an Empirical Premise, and a Moral Premise. The Theological Premise is, roughly speaking, the claim that Christianity should bear appreciable moral fruit, and that Christian theism and naturalism make different predictions: they lead us to form different expectations about the world. The Empirical Premise is meant to establish some relevant fact about the world. The Moral Premise affirms a moral fact or normative judgment. We defend each of these premises and work the meager moral fruits argument into a cumulative case for naturalism.
“I might believe in the Redeemer if his followers looked more redeemed.” – Nietzsche
For a discussion of Paul Draper’s original argument from meager moral fruits, see my video on Draper’s Case for Naturalism
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